Internet Perusing by a Jaded Gay Negro

By OckyDub | Posted Jul 14 2014 | 31 Comments  

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My internet travels this past week sucked. My typical go to sites feature news, politics, sports, science along with various other interests. Sometimes the mainstreams usual conservative-liberal-racism-shootings-police brutality-war, what some evangelical said, stories can get tiresome. To ease and distract my mind, I try to hit up non-gossip pop culture, sci-fi, nature, fitness and LGBT websites. The problem is that many of the LGBT sites add to my frustrations just as much as the typical mainstream sites do.

I once saw a white gay debating a black gay on a message board. The debate was concerning black gays having separate or distinguished Pride celebrations from the more popular mainstream city/state sponsored celebrations. The white gay was saying the black gays were separating themselves and the black gay was stating blacks don’t feel a part of or feel less included within the mainstream city/state sponsored Pride celebrations. It reminded me of the ongoing “why is there a BET?” argument. I mention this because of my feelings and reactions I have when visiting many mainstream LGBT websites. There are a couple of things that always stick out to me:

1. I don’t see many men who look like me or any other persons of color.
2. Usually when there is a non-white face (which isn’t that often) it’s a random model on a run way, Jason Collins, Don Lemon, Ru Paul, Laverne Cox, Wanda Sykes or Michael Sam.
3. Usually when a non-celeb black face is present, it’s concerning an anti-LGBT pastor, HIV/AIDS or some anti-LGBT African country. This is really annoying.
4. You are bombarded with Marriage Equality and the term “queer”.
5. There is an abundance of articles about femininity equals bravery and strength but the majority of time (what seems like 99% of the time) when masculinity is the topic of an article, its always discussed as a problematic negative “thing” that’s need to be re-examined, redefined and is a divisive thorn in the side of LGBT progression. Embracing femininity and or wanting to be a transgender woman is good but embracing and celebrating one’s masculinity is bad. You can barely utter the word “masculine” without invoking some sort of adverse or negative reaction within the gay community.
6. The majority of the content doesn’t interest me. The LGBT community via many of these sites exists in a vacuum of flamboyancy, gossip, divas, men in drag, Pride parades, abs, underwear, twinks, fashion and the aforementioned Marriage Equality. There are so many feminine and masculine gay men who are so much more than this!

Hoping for some relief, I go over to the LGBT sites that lean towards persons of color and for the most part it’s more of the same. What I think is worse when it comes to many of these sites is that I feel like a Queer Studies class being taught at “anywhere university USA” had sex with a James Baldwin understudy and birthed out these black gays who talk at you because you need to be enlightened; all the while making sure a touch of “shade” and “reading” is added. Words and phrases like, hetero-normative, misogyny, patriarchy, queer, feminism, gender identity, homophobia, transphobia are overused and misused just so you can know they graduated and or at least attended. They (meaning many of the authors and bloggers on these websites) come off as if “living in your truth” is okay, as long as the truth is from a feminine perspective.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just like how my business partner describes me, in that I think everything is “shit”. At any rate, I do know that when I begin to feel overwhelmed or should I say underwhelmed from the “shit”, its time disconnect and take a break. I’m going on an internet diet and I’m going to flush the toxins from my mental system.

 

…I’ll start tomorrow.

 

 

About the Author
OckyDub

Octavius is a founder and editor of Cypher Avenue. He's here to help speak for us and show the world that masculine gay / bisexual men of color are not a part of the stereotypical gay normal that is seen and fed to the masses. No...we are a distinct breed, filled with character and pride. Cypher Avenue is here to show the world how we are different.

   
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31 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. alton
    NYCforEVER | July 14th, 2014
    0

    LOL “Hetero-Normative”. This always makes me chuckle when I see it. You know what, bro. I never even HEARD that term until I joined this site. Goes to show exactly how much interest I put into “The Gay Agenda”, I guess.

    • alton
      NYCforEVER | July 14th, 2014
      +2

      That “Queer” identification, though I know it’s been discussed and “defended/rationalized” (by some) on here before, really makes me sick to my stomach. Whenever I see/hear that word in reference to anything related to “Gay”, I IMMEDIATELY think of outlandish (white) wise cracking drag queens, Leather Daddies (of all shades/ethnicity), OVERLY skinny ass white dudes in bright neon colored speedos (with nothing to show off, front OR back), loud/obnoxious music and people, feathers, beads, condoms, more rainbows than “Care Bears”, “Sailor Moon”, and “Rainbow Brite” put together, and an overwhelming stench of poppers and lube, like a bookstore.
      I just don’t get it (that term). But, I suppose what I envision is pretty much what the intended imagery is supposed to be.

      • SB3000 | July 14th, 2014
        +2

        This comment almost made me throw up in my mouth a lil, lol

        • alton
          NYCforEVER | July 14th, 2014
          0

          Sorry, my dude. LMAO But that’s literally first thing it pop up in my mind.

  2. ControlledXaos | July 14th, 2014
    0

    I gotta say, I come here to have the ‘intelligent adult conversation and discussion’ I lack IRL. I feel everything you said and I can name at least 3 black gay authors/sites that are in the lane you mentioned.

    On point number 1, I remember when I used to subscribe to Men’s Fitness magazine in the early 2000s. They had a new black editor in chief there and I sent him (or the person who answered that email address) a letter explaining that I was tired of only seeing black celeberites on the cover but constantly saw generic white no name models. Where were the generic black no name models? Never saw them. But there was LL Cool J and Ursher. :/

    In my opinion, ‘white media’ gay and straight, just don’t understand why non whites have an issue when people of color say ‘we need our own’. They live in a bubble.

    • SB3000 | July 14th, 2014
      +2

      I just explained white privilege to a co-worker yesterday. He’s white, but Russian, so I had to explain to him why our boss sucks the white American guy we work with’s dick all of the time. White ppl don’t get ‘it’ becus they don’t know what it’s like to be the minority.

      • John | July 15th, 2014
        0

        Russians get a lot of sh*t. Which is why they escaped Russia. Next time give him the examples of how they are discriminated against in Europe…and he will GET IT.

  3. BlackguyExecutive | July 14th, 2014
    +1

    I say if you have not found the voice that speaks to you or that media source that resonates, be it, be that voice, create the media you seek. Almost like that “Field of Dreams” moment: If you build it, they will come.

    • John | July 15th, 2014
      +1

      EXACTLY.

      This is how I started my own magazine. +1000000

  4. Rod Turpin
    Rod! | July 14th, 2014
    0

    When you say “bombarded with marriage equality”, i don’t really see the problem here. Even if someone didn’t want to personally marry someone of the same sex, or was just apathetic about it as an issue, it seems like the Pride platform would be the most logical place to show pride in one’s same sex marriage or desire to be married to someone of the same sex (or even just to support having that right). How would that possibly be offensive or negative?

      • Rod Turpin
        Rod! | July 15th, 2014
        +1

        If you’re saying that the problem is that “At the rate we are going, marriage equality will be achieved for gays long before equality is achieved for Black America.”, this still doesn’t address why fighting for gay marriage rights is a bad thing at all. Civil rights aren’t a zero sum game, fighting for gay marriage doesn’t slow down black civil rights. We shouldn’t frame it as one group winning over the other, that just perpetuates the existing conflicts between parts of the gay and black community. And while it would be absolutely better if the black and gay rights movements worked together more, its a bit unfair to imply that at gay Pride, they should focus less on gay rights and more on black rights. It’s like complaining that your plumber didn’t fix your television.

        Also marriage equality for gays vs. equality for blacks is a false parallel, since marriage equality is only one small aspect of larger equality. A more accurate parallel would be marriage equality for gays vs. interracial marriage rights, a right that’s been achieved (at least legally). Or you could parallel gay equality and black equality, neither of which are anywhere near completion.

        • Ocky Williams | July 15th, 2014
          0

          Okay, when I see weekly videos of police beating the shit out of people of color and or killing them; I could careless about marriage equality. Marriage equality regardless of validity is a cause of privileged white gays.

          If white people (including white gays) were being incarcerated, beaten or killed by police at the same rate as people of color; marriage equality would not be on their radar. If white gays were truly concerned about “equality” they would have articles about this on their websites and in their magazines at the same level of marriage equality articles…they don’t.

          FOR ME injustice and oppression due to racism is more important than a marriage license. Look at the latest videos that have been released in the last month of people of color getting the shit beating out of them and tell me how does a marriage license protect them at the hands of police? Again…many gay people and many in the white gay community leave in vacuum.

          I say all that to say…please stop preaching equality when all you really want is equality for yourself and people who LOOK and THINK like you.

          • Rod Turpin
            Rod! | July 15th, 2014
            0

            Violence against minorities is obviously a more important injustice that not being able to marry who I love. And it is perfectly fine to be completely apathetic about any political issue you choose. You don’t have to care about gay marriage, nor should you have to fight for it. But it seems strange to me to knock gay groups for fighting for a gay rights issue, one that many people do care about. And I agree that I wish gay groups would do more with minority issues, but honestly its rare that any minority groups give substantial focus outside their own (for instance, most black rights groups haven’t had much of a focus on gay or womens rights, unless they were specifically a black womens group or a black gay group).

            I’m always cautious with taking what is completely justified anger about the numerous injustices people of color face, and redirecting it another oppressed group. Its somewhat reminiscent of what many white gays did to the black community after Prop 8 (and no, I’m not saying those two injustices are equal, my larger point is that oppressed groups shouldn’t battle over who has it worse, it only plays into our oppositions hands).

            • Ocky Williams | July 15th, 2014
              -1

              As a black gay man, I’m happy that I can marry my partner of 5 + years. This is not misdirected or redirecting anger…Maybe I’m not explaining myself properly.

              My issue is that if a group is going to drape themselves with the “equality” banner, than equality should not stop at LGBT issues as it seems it does with white gays.

              “for instance, most black rights groups haven’t had much of a focus on gay or womens rights, unless they were specifically a black womens group or a black gay group”…this is so not true.

              There is a large number of LGBT folk of color who work within LGBT equality causes and outside of that vacuum as it pertains to minority injustices and equality for women. Especially many LGBT women of color who may experience oppression on at least 3 levels.

              Whether its immigration reform, marriage equality, women’s rights, etc. civil rights groups are always running to the side to help but when its injustice and oppression of people of color, most of the time they stand alone.

              • John | July 15th, 2014
                +1

                Bbbut you guys rightfully wrote a while back that more black lgbt are actually married then whites, its just the media doesn’t represent THIS. So it’s not a white vs black issue.

                Your issue should be with why more black lgbt people do not want to lead and start their own sites, using $$ from supporters. Blacks need to stop expecting the ‘white man’ to represent THEM.

                Everyone has an agenda and if you are spending your time and money doing a site, your go to will be your own interests.

                I have seen Towleroad try to write about black issues and the response was poor-not enough readers cared and black lgbt were like ‘don’t talk about us!’

                What do you guys want? Blood?

                • Ocky Williams | July 15th, 2014
                  -1

                  The excuse you gave about towleroad is a poor one. How about hire or allow an LGBT person of color to write about the concerns that impact LGBT persons of color. THEY ARE EVERYONE so finding one should be easy.

                  I always don’t get comments about posts/articles I write that still doesn’t mean certain topics cant be written about.

                  What I want is simple (but I know will not be received) Don’t claim you are for equality and tout a rainbow flag when you’re really not. If you claim you are representing all than represent ALL! You are selling a false bill of goods otherwise. What’s wrong with more images with people of color on their website? Making continued excuses for them certainly doesn’t help.

                • John | July 15th, 2014
                  +1

                  But do they say that they are? As far as looking to sites that claim to be for equality, I only look to sites like GLAAD, Media Matters, The Advocate etc and yes they do a really poor job but I wonder if the question is ‘blocking people of color’ from the employment ladder in their companies or not getting applicants in? It’s one of them!

                  It’s also about supply and demand. And about putting yourself out there. I don’t think black lgbtq people do that. All I see is whining and little work done to start your own thing or put yourself forward.

                  Towleroad is under no obligation to write about black lgbtq people, especially if it’s not done by a person of colour because the sh*t will hit the fan. I know the site owner does try but what can he do? Which is why I think the aim goes solely on issues with Africa, which are in fact more tangible to deal with or support then the issues in the US with AA’s due to the wrath you will incur.

              • Rod Turpin
                Rod! | July 16th, 2014
                0

                “There is a large number of LGBT folk of color who work within LGBT equality causes and outside of that vacuum as it pertains to minority injustices and equality for women. Especially many LGBT women of color who may experience oppression on at least 3 levels.”

                Wait, but this is exactly my point; these people are working outside of that vacuum because they themselves are outside of that vacuum. I would expect LGBT folks of color to fight for rights related to both being LGBT and being a person of color, as I would expect LGBT women to work towards womens rights and LGBT rights (and if they are of color, also for those rights). But to say that a group that aims to focus on one aspect of equality has to focus on all of them just isn’t realistic. No other groups, barring a few massive ones like the ACLU (which does claim to work for total equality for all) are held to a standard even close to that.

  5. John | July 15th, 2014
    +2

    The problem is that the people starting this sites have their own agenda-it’s human-and they tend to be feminine or/and old timer lgbtq people of color or white. I accept that because no one is going to write your truth unless they understand your truth.

    Black lgbtq people always scream that their is no difference in discrimination between the white or black communities. Well then why are their no more black lgbtq sites? Do we not enjoy leadership positions? Or want to be trailblazers?

    The only reason we have the black lgbtq visibility we have now is because of white gays. FACT. So it’s about time black lgbtq people who us this evidence they scream of.

    Re marriage equality, it’s a completely different issue to black civil rights. There are many black lgbtq people who would be alone or homeless if they didn’t get married-not all of us want to stay part of a family or community that hates us, so marriage is a way of starting a new family or getting out of that small town of hate. Something white straight people in dire situations have been using since the beginning of time to escape ‘Daddy’s clutch, oppressive parents, start new lives or leave the town’. And these are not always done for love…which is the point! It’s about the benefits.

    Black people complain about the white man oppressing them but they want him to support their issues. Huh? If all these black communities are so supportive of lgbtq rights…..then what are THEY doing??

    • BlackguyExecutive | July 15th, 2014
      +1

      I think that until the black community as a people, LGBT people included decided that if we want to see ourselves represented we must support those who are trying to make that happen. Supporting black business and industry, purchasing products legitimately, and taking risk and going into enterprises that are under-served to the black community is the key. How can we expect people to do things we cannot do ourselves.

      With respect to marriage equality, I don’t give a shit who is working on as long as people have the opportunity to get married, which first and foremost, creates wealth. Wealth is the only way LGBT people, black people, whatever are going to be able to truly transcend equality. I want to get married because its a avenue to wealth creation, which I can use to make my family break some cycles of poverty,oppression or whatever. Marriage outside of all the religious sacrament shit is a contracting system that presents ladders of opportunity that are not available to unmarried people.

      • John | July 15th, 2014
        0

        Exactly. It’s about wealth. And security! This is why us blacks are struggling so behind with investments or supporting the community!

        I was self-employed and I used to try so hard to employ or represent black people in general but it wasn’t easy. At all. I also got involved with politics, lobbying and community…and that was even harder to get black folk to even come on board!

        After time, money and endless energy spent, I now stick to consultancy and academia, so I can save enough to live the life I want in the future.

        If black people are not going to get that every GD thing is about money. I just can’t. Especially as we are perceived as such a money and capitalistic culture if you believe the lives of those sport stars and entertainers!

  6. Ocky Williams | July 15th, 2014
    -1

    If people think Marriage Equality is the biggest obstacle that is standing in the way of the advancement of LGBT people of color, we have a problem. Are people forgetting Oprah just experienced being racially profiled earlier this year? How much wealth and money does one need?

    • BlackguyExecutive | July 15th, 2014
      +2

      Well, I think all too often we try an isolate race. We cannot talk about race without also talking about class and gender. All of these things are connected. Black people were denied ladders of opportunity with slavery and subsequently Jim Crow. For hundreds of years blacks in America were denied marriage as an institution which creates wealth. I don’t think the example of Oprah is relevant here because her wealth and fame is largely marginalized, if not isolated. I did not mean to suggest just because you are rich you can escape the evils of victimization or racism, look at the Jewish Americans who have [as a collective] larges bodies of wealth but are victimized with high levels of discrimination and racism antisemitism. I am certainly saying that wealth and wealth alone brings access, access to power sources, access to the loudest voices, access to a system that was created on the backs of the exploitation of others. I believe and I think statistic will show that people who are married are more likely to be able to transfer wealth from one generation to the next and that transfer of wealth is where the power lies. Everything else doesn’t really matter. (Please note, I am not talking about wealth in the sentiment of status, the collection of material things, I am talking about wealth of security things people can’t easily take away)

      • BlackguyExecutive | July 15th, 2014
        +3

        I think that marriage for the white gays as it is framed here is about security. Look at the Windsor case, its was about the protection of her wealth $350,000 of estate wealth. It wasn’t about status or projection of some grand gay agenda, its about security of being able to keep what is yours and pass it to others. Follow the money!!!

      • John | July 15th, 2014
        +1

        Lol, the amount of times I have given talks or speeches to blacks about looking to the Jews on how we can ‘make it work’. SMDH. We can’t hide like the Jews but we can be smart and support the community we wish to exist in to see it thrive-why always give money to the church/pastor? Self interest! “I’m gonna make it to heaven!” What? How about putting it towards being on a school board? Something that will help your family in the future and god forbid, other black strangers!

        What about-sorry to be cynical-doing a good amount of community service and then petition to get a park bench named after you? How inspirational would that be to some black kid in the future? All these are cause and effect.

        • BlackguyExecutive | July 15th, 2014
          0

          Until we realize the patronage and support for your own people is the only way we will move forward and upward we will remain in the same place. I would point to many cultures who get this right, Jews, Mormons, Asians, Eastern Europeans – they help each other succeed, they shop local, meaning businesses that directly affect their communities, and they are often tough when it comes to cutting off weak links or those who do realize the hand is there to help.

      • Rod Turpin
        Rod! | July 16th, 2014
        +2

        This is very true; a lot of times people forget marriage as a legal status isn’t just about being lovey-dovey and what not, it’s a protection of financial assets and ensuring that they go to the person you want them to go to should something occur. It is an element of personal and generational security.

  7. John | July 15th, 2014
    0

    Anyway Ocky, you should check out Michael Sam’s facebook page. The people who post are exactly what you speak of who are forgotten-one guy even came out after being in the closet but it’s a real mixture of black and white men,so you see you’re not alone in your view about mainstream gay sites whatsoever. You also need to look in the comments of Queerty or Towleroad or JMG and will see that many would just like some decent lgbt or maybe just a gay site that appreciates men for who and what they are.

    Straight people obv have the same issue because the Good Men Project started off because of what we all feel about masculinity specifically as a liberal minded person but it’s now non political and you can see many comments by right leaning men on the site.

    Anyway, I mentioned Sam’s facebook because it’s the only place I actually know of where there is such an outpouring of straight and gay men-mostly above 25(?), who really feel Sam(persona) speaks to them. There is also a few straight women. But it’s pretty amazing to see-people support each other, talk about their own issues and spill their guts about being a masculine gay man! Really cool!

  8. Matthew D | August 8th, 2014
    0

    I am Mexican American, gay, and in live in Phoenix, AZ. My then boyfriend who is white was explaining to me about a horrible service experience he had. Already I had my guards up since I knew he was an entitled person. The last closing comments he made was “I just want to be treated like a white man.” We both looked at each other and immediately he told me he was kidding. I knew he was not. I met his friends and it was him x5. Even a liberal, progressive gay white man will not understand what is means to have dark skin or a Spanish surname and gay.




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